Chitipa District Commissioner, Grace Zione Chirwa finished 2015 calendar year in a style as she led a delegation which comprising district council sector heads, local NGOs representatives, councillors and members from business community in joining officials from Ileje District in Tanzania in a special tree planting exercise, Thursday , December 31.
The exercise which took place at the bank of Songwe River, adjacent to Isongole Trading Center, marked the launch of tree planting season in Ileje, which will run for three months , according to District Commissioner for Ileje, Rosemary Sitaki Senyamule, who presided over the function.
Tree planting exercise was one of Chirwa ‘s first engagement before cheering the orphans at non residential orphan Care Center and treated to a nocturnal end of the year festival held at Radwell Hall, both at Ileje District Headquarters
Chirwa said she led a delegation from Chitipa to participant in tree planting exercise in Tanzania as a sign of solidarity in fighting problems that impinge on people of the two districts.
Said Chirwa, “ We are taking advantage of our cordial relationship to jointly plan and implement small scale activities that can alleviate challenges which negatively affect livelihood of our people of the two districts.
Senyamule said the launch of tree planting exercise was done at Songwe River back as an intervention to protect Songwe River bridge, connecting Ileje and Chitipa Districts, which is in the verge of being swept away by strong floods.
For years, the floods have been eating bare and weak river bank, especially at Tanzanian side, to the extent that the embankment is no longer strong to support the overused barley bridge.
Chirwa observed that the duty to protect Songwe River bank to ensure safety and survival of the bridge can not be left in the hands of Ileje District a lone.
“There is need for joint efforts to protect the river bank because challenges that will arise as a result of collapsing of the bridge will seriously torment the people of two sides who depend on the facility for their socioeconomic activities,” said Chirwa.
At the tree planting ceremony, Ileje District Commissioner, Senyamule appealed to people of Isongole to ensure that the planted trees are always safe from livestock and other malpractices that render them prone to destruction .
She warned, “These trees have been planted for a noble cause. Keep your animals away. The law will take its full course on anyone found abusing the trees in whatever manner.”
Just in 30 munities, charged officials planted 500 trees of two scientific species of Ficus Sycomarus and Ramrolff..
However, much as Chirwa commended efforts by her counterpart to afforest the river bank, she also urged launch of a joint awareness campaign to sensitize people of the two districts on the need to refrain from cultivating right in the banks of Songwe River and its catchment area.
Chirwa added that mismanagement of the river bank and its catchment area causes devastating floods, which in other areas, force the river to annually change its course, resulting into displacement of people who lose land and animals in the process.
Said Chirwa,” Most land disputes registered from people living a long the Songwe River originate from change of river course as the natural occurrence disposes people of their land and other precious belongings”.
Chirwa, then hailed government of Tanzania, that just like Malawi, it has also launched an annual tree planting season, an initiative, she noted was Key in conserving environment to mitigate negative effects of climate change, which has not spared either country.
During a joint party in the midnight of December 31, the two lady DCs echoed each other in describing get -together end of the year event as key in further cementing cordial relationship between people of the two districts.
Chirwa and Senyamule drew applause from jam-packed hall when, tossed in the frenzy, in turns, they vowed never to drop the event as long as they were still serving as district commissioners and have the blessings of their authorities.
Lat year, Senyamule led a high powered delegation to Chitipa District to join in cerebrating end of the year festival and New Year’s Day held at Chitipa Secondary School Hall, ostensibly due to lack of viable motels to accommodate a larger group of visitors at the Boma.
This is the third time for people of the two district to cerebrate New Year’s Day together. Chitipa officials have gone to Ileje twice now.–ManaFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :